GMO news related to the United States

20.03.2017

Seed: The Untold Story

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, these subtle flecks of life are the source of all existence. Like tiny time capsules, they contain the songs, sustenance, memories, and medicines of entire cultures. They feed us, clothe us, and provide the raw materials for our everyday lives. In a very real

sense, they are life itself.

Yet in our modern world, these precious gifts of nature are in grave danger. In less than a century of industrial agriculture, our once abundant seed diversity—painstakingly created by ancient farmers and gardeners over countless millennia—has been drastically winnowed down to a handful of mass-produced varieties. Under the spell of industrial “progress” and a lust for profit, our quaint family farmsteads have given way to mechanized agribusinesses sowing genetically identical crops on a monstrous scale. Recent news headlines suggest that Irish history may already be repeating in our globalized food system. Articles in the New York Times and other mainstream sources report the impending collapse of the world’s supplies of bananas, oranges, coffee and coconuts—all due to a shortsighted over-reliance on a single, fragile variety. Without seed diversity, crop diseases rise and empires fall.

18.03.2017

Phasing out harmful use of pesticides

If we are going to live so intimately with these

chemicals—eating and drinking them, taking them into

the very marrow of our bones—we had better know

something about their nature and their power, wrote

environmentalist Rachel Carson in 1962 in her book

Silent Spring, which hauntingly described the damaging

effects of indiscriminate pesticide use in agriculture

on animals and people in the USA. 55 years later, a new

report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food

and the UN Special Rapporteur on toxics, presented to the

Human Rights Council on March 7, details the health and

17.03.2017

GMO bills get hearings in Oregon Legislature

SALEM, Ore. — The controversy over genetically modified organisms is back in the spotlight at the Capitol.

Legislative committees held public hearings Thursday to discuss two new bills.

Farm advocates say they’re designed to protect family farmers from genetically engineered crops.

One bill would hold GMO companies accountable for contaminating traditional crops.

The other bill allows local governments to adopt their own laws to protect farmers from unregulated GMO companies, reversing a law banning local governments from regulating crops or seeds.

17.03.2017

Organic Consumers Association Calls for Congressional Investigation into Monsanto-EPA Collusion

Court Documents Reveal EPA Official May Have Suppressed Evidence that Roundup Causes Cancer

FINLAND, Minn. – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today called on members of Congress to launch a full investigation into whether or not some EPA officials conspired with Monsanto (NYSE:MON) to suppress legitimate scientific evidence of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller’s potential to cause cancer.

The OCA, whose US network includes more than two million consumers, also called on Congress to immediately suspend all sales of Roundup until the investigation has been completed.

“Consumers are told to rely on the EPA to determine the safety of chemicals like glyphosate, and products like Roundup,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association. “When credible sources indicate that EPA officials have deliberately compromised the safety of the public, consumers have a right to know. Monsanto should not be allowed to continue to profit from sales of a product that some EPA scientists, and scientists at World Health Organization, have determined is likely to cause cancer.

“Congress should immediately launch a full investigation into this new evidence of collusion. And until the truth is known, sales of Roundup products should be banned.”

16.03.2017

Unsealed Court Documents Suggest Monsanto Ghostwrote Research to Diminish Roundup Cancer Risk

Monsanto suffered a major setback Tuesday when a federal judge in San Francisco unsealed documents that call into question the agrichemical giant's research practices and the safety of its best-selling herbicide, Roundup, the world's most-produced weedkiller. The documents counter industry-funded research that has long asserted Monsanto's flagship product—used by home gardeners, public park gardeners and farmers and applied to hundreds of crops—is relatively safe.

14.03.2017

Monsanto Weed Killer Roundup Faces New Doubts on Safety in Unsealed Documents

The reputation of Roundup, whose active ingredient is the world’s most widely used weed killer, took a hit on Tuesday when a federal court unsealed documents raising questions about its safety and the research practices of its manufacturer, the chemical giant Monsanto.

Roundup and similar products are used around the world on everything from row crops to home gardens. It is Monsanto’s flagship product, and industry-funded research has long found it to be relatively safe. A case in federal court in San Francisco has challenged that conclusion, building on the findings of an international panel that claimed Roundup’s main ingredient might cause cancer.

11.03.2017

California Judge Rules Against Monsanto, Allows Cancer Warning on Roundup

California is the first U.S. state to require Monsanto to label its blockbuster weed killer, Roundup, as a possible carcinogen, according to a ruling issued Friday by a California judge.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Kapetan previously issued a tentative ruling on Jan. 27 in Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, et al.

10.03.2017

Northwest Tribes Cooking Up Opposition To Genetically Modified Salmon

AquAdvantage salmon were the first genetically engineered animal product meant for human consumption to be approved by the FDA. It combines the genetic material of Chinook and Atlantic salmon with eelpout to make it grow nearly twice as fast as its conventionally farmed counterparts.

“And it was done without a single consultation with tribes who have organized our lives around salmon for thousands of years,” said Valerie Segrest, with the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Program. She says despite a resolution passed by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians opposing the introduction and submitted to the FDA, tribal concerns have been ignored.

10.03.2017

Top Five Reasons Why We Must Block Agrichemical and Seed Mega-Mergers

Antonio Roman-Alcalá, currently the sustainable food campaigner for Friends of the Earth US, shares why agrichemical and seed mega-mergers are harmful to the food system.

The agricultural seed and pesticide market is already extremely concentrated. Three impending mergers between six of these corporate giants (Bayer/Monsanto, Dow/DuPont, and ChemChina/Syngenta) will further consolidate market and political power, leading to even greater corporate control of our farms and plates.

The companies involved are confident that the mergers will be approved, and President Trump’s pre-inauguration meeting with CEOs from Bayer and Monsanto indicates that politics might trump antitrust legal procedure and precedent. Still, there is widespread opposition to the merger from farmers, consumers, workers, environmentalists, and regulators, as evidenced by the 320 organizations and farmers who recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice asking them to block the mergers. The mergers are far from a done deal.

09.03.2017

EPA Opens Civil Rights Investigation Over Pesticide Use In Hawai`i

Honolulu — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it is launching an investigation into whether the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC) have been violating Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act by engaging in practices that have the effect of discriminating against Native Hawaiians. Title VI prohibits a recipient of federal funds from acting in a manner that has a disparate impact on the basis of race, color, or national origin, regardless of whether the impact is intentional.